The Nature of the Son
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 1:1-14, 2 Samuel 7:12-15, John 1:1-18
Walking into the chapel at the seminary I attended, everyone does the same thing—you can’t help it. You look up. Every element of the art and architecture guides you to look at one central point.
Entering through the back, you walk through twelve carved shield emblems representing the apostles. Moving a bit further, you find the busts of six twentieth-century men and women who were martyred for their faith. As you make your way toward the altar, you’re surrounded by twelve larger-than-life paintings depicting Christ’s life and the work of the early Church. At the altar, you find yourself standing under a vibrantly painted central dome, about ninety feet overhead. Inspired by the words of Hebrews 12:1–2, depictions of sixteen witnesses from Church history encircle the base of the dome. Above them is a faceless crowd of people, representing the multitude of believers who have gone before us. Finally, your eyes land in the middle of the dome, on a painting of Jesus with His wounded hands outstretched—our Savior at the center and over all.
In the same way that standing under that dome physically draws your eyes upward, the book of Hebrews reorients our eyes on the person of Jesus. It tethers believers to the past, present, and future realities of life as the people of God.
In the book of Hebrews, we’re reminded that we stand on the shoulders of the centuries of believers who walked the road of faith ahead of us—encouraged in the midst of persecution not to turn away from the faith. We’re reminded that Jesus doesn’t dismiss the suffering and circumstances we experience at the ground level of our humanity. Instead, we’re called to see that when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we’re reminded that He is better.
He is better than all the lesser loves this world has to offer. He is better than all the best offerings we can bring. He is better than all the signposts pointing to Him along the way. He is the better priest, the better sacrifice, and the better hope. This study of Hebrews is an invitation to let your eyes be drawn upward and to be fixed on Jesus.
Our prayer is that over the next three weeks, you will be changed by the reality that Jesus offered Himself, once for all time, so that we could experience the fullness of His presence. As we move through this reading plan together, with the Spirit’s guidance, may these words call us to lift our heads and focus our eyes on Jesus.